Norman Churches in Kent
14) The Church Route
Start: Royal Oak, Holt Street, Nonington, Dover, CT15 4HT 01304 841012
Finish: Peggoty's Tea Room, 122 High Street, Tenterden, TN30 6HT
The little village of Nonington lies east of the A2 and west of the A256 about ten miles northwest of Dover. The village is a straggling affair, so finding the Royal Oak without a satnav is a bit of a challenge. It is probably easiest to find the church first, then head south along the lane to a T-junction with a second lane. The pub is off to your right.
Leaving the pub head south to follow the signs along some tortuous narrow lanes to Barfrestone. The Norman church here has magnificent stone carving work - some of it bizarrely grotesque
Leave Barfrestone along lanes signposted at first to Barham and then to Adisham. You will pass through Elvington and Nonington to Ratling and Adisham. The church at Adisham here is another Norman construction. It lacks the rich ornamentation found at Barfrestone, but does have a sturdy tower topped by a highly unusual pyramid roof. The church also boasts some fine windows of 13th century date. Note that Church Lane is a very narrow cul-de-sac with nowhere to park your car. You should park on the village green and then walk to the church.
From Adisham head north again to Bekesbourne, then bear left to Patrixbourne. This is the third church within this small area to boast fine Norman work. The doorway here is similar to that at Barfrestone in that its main feature is a carving of Christ. The rest of the ornamentation is not as richly finished as at Barfrestone, but it is worth a look nonetheless.
From Pub & Teashop Drives in Kent by Rupert Matthews.
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